German stocks advanced the most in a month after a report showed that China’s imports in March increased more than estimated and as U.S. stocks jumped to a record signaling demand for riskier assets.
EON SE and RWE AG (RWE), the country’s biggest utilities, rallied at least 3.5 percent each as Morgan Stanley upgraded its view of the companies’ outlook. Gerresheimer AG (GXI) advanced 2.5 percent after confirming its full-year revenue forecast.
The DAX Index (DAX) rose 2.3 percent to 7,810.63 at the close of trading in Frankfurt. The benchmark gauge erased its losses this month. The broader HDAX Index gained 2.2 percent today. In the U.S., the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 1 percent to 1,584.83 at 12:05 p.m. in New York.
“Markets are blazing a trail of bullish sentiment supported by a belief in aggressive policy plans, Chinese data, and a chase for returns in a low-rate world where investors do not want to miss out on the momentum,” Daniel Weston, a portfolio manager at Aimed Capital Management LLC in Munich, wrote in an e-mail.
China’s imports rose by a better-than-forecast 14.1 percent in March, while export growth slowed to 10 percent from a year earlier, the customs administration said in Beijing.
The volume of shares changing hands in companies on the DAX was 7.1 percent lower than the average of the last 30 days, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
EON advanced 3.8 percent to 14.61 euros and RWE gained 4.5 percent to 30.36 euros. Morgan Stanley removed EON from its list of “bottom picks” and added RWE to its “top picks.”
Gerresheimer, which develops and produces specialty products made of glass and plastic, climbed 2.5 percent to 44.74 euros. The company reported a 10 percent increase in first- quarter revenue to 296.7 million euros ($389 million), exceeding estimates of 286.7 million euros. Gerresheimer also confirmed its 2013 sales target.
Allianz SE (ALV), Europe’s largest insurer, rose 3 percent to 108.30 euros as a gauge of insurance companies rose the second most among the 19 industry groups in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. (SXXP)
Siemens AG (SIE), Europe’s largest engineering company, added 1.9 percent to 82.09 euros as Chief Executive Officer Peter Loescher reiterated a full-year forecast for sales.
Siemens will comment on this year’s profit target of 4.5 billion euros to 5 billion euros when it publishes its quarterly earnings in May, Loescher said in an interview with Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper. Munich-based spokesman Oliver Santen confirmed the comments.
SMA Solar Technology AG (S92), Germany’s biggest solar-energy company by market value, rose 8.8 percent to 19.88 euros, the biggest increase in almost two months. A better-than-forecast earnings projection by First Solar Inc. in the U.S. fueled optimism the industry may be emerging from a slump. Wacker Chemie AG (WCH), a maker of the main raw material in solar panels, increased 5.8 percent to 59.16 euros.
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